I wanted to change my lifestyle because I was gaining weight. I was eating junk food. I have a huge sweet tooth and I’d have two or three king size packs of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups a day. I’m 52 and I have lupus, so I take medication that makes it hard to lose weight.

I was stressed big time.

I work in the bakery, it’s always busy, and I’d try to do more than one task at a time. I was wearing myself down. I was short of breath because of the extra weight and it was hard to get down on my knees to reach pastries and bread on the bottom shelves. 

My husband, Mark, and I have three kids and four grandchildren.

And there’s another grandkid on the way. I’m the main support for my daughter, Stephanie, and her kids who are five and seven. After work, I babysit the kids, but I was exhausted because I wasn’t getting enough rest. And I had no time for Mark. 

My co-worker, Kathryn, told me about the Thrive Challenge.

She’s a Thrive Grand Champ and I love her personality. She thought it would help me. I got started by cutting out sugar. It was hard for the first couple of months, passing up the candies at the register. I’d grab a pack of Reese’s Cups, and then put it back. I’d say to myself: “You don’t need this.” Now, it’s much easier. I see desserts all the time at work, but I stay away from them. Instead, I get carrot and celery sticks, or cheese sticks, and a handful of cashews.

For dinner, I’ll have chicken caesar salad or beef fajitas without the tortillas. 

I’ve never been much of a cook, but sometimes Mark will grill steak with a baked potato and salad. Or I’ll have a hamburger with avocado, but without the bun. And I’m eating more veggies — I love broccoli.

My grandkids love me to play with them.

We’re jumping on the trampoline in their backyard. Emily, the five-year-old, is very attached to me so anything she does, I have to do. And trampolining is great exercise. Trust me — I feel it! I felt silly to start with, but now I just jump around and play. It’s exhilarating. I just look at Emily and she’ll laugh, then we both laugh and have lots of fun. We also go to the park. I’ll chase the kids and spin them around on the merry go round, and I push them on the slide. 

My de-stressor is embroidery. 

It’s my hobby, and I’m making the time for it because it’s so relaxing. Right now, I’m hand embroidering a beautiful quilt for my next granddaughter, Ella Grace, who is due to arrive in April. The quilt has her name and it has deer, bunnies, and hummingbirds, and  it says, “Children are gifts from Heaven.” Embroidering helps me focus. It gives me satisfaction when I see it all coming together. 

My mindset has changed. 

Resets, Resets, Resets — I love them. The breathing Resets on the Thrive app help me relax and I’ve learned how to calm down. Whenever I get overwhelmed, I close my eyes and think of waterfalls, and then I’m back to where I need to be. 

We’re spending more time with the family. 

We’ll go to Stephanie’s house and have dinner. She’s a really good cook. She’ll make Italian chicken and potatoes, and we’ll watch a movie. We just saw Where the Crawdads Sing, which I really liked.

I’ve lost 15 pounds and I’m feeling more confident.

I put on my favorite pair of wrangler jeans that I haven’t been able to wear for a year, and they were a little loose. I feel accomplished and proud of myself.

We’re saving money.

We’re not buying junk food and it’s wonderful to be able to pay the bills on time and put money away. We’re paying attention to what we spend. I’m a big shoe fantatic, but I’ve stopped buying new shoes because I don’t need them. We live in a travel trailer right now,  but we almost have enough to buy a small house. That’s my goal. I want to be able to have my grandkids over to stay the night and I want a room to relax and do my embroidery.

— Rebecca Daggs, Walmart Supercenter #103, Shawnee, OK; $5K Winner